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UPDATED: December 9, 2013 NO. 50 DECEMBER 12, 2013
Cairo Declaration 70 Years On
The outcome of the 1943 China-U.S.-UK conference continues to bear significance to today's Asia
By Gao Hong

Along with Potsdam Declaration, the declaration belongs to a set of historic decisions that victorious nations made with the defeated Japan, and it is a document with legal effect that is accepted by the international community. Any attempt to deny the past is a betrayal of history, because it means to abolish the basis and legitimacy of today's international order.

The Cairo Declaration's spirit and principles still need to be upheld today to protect world peace.

The United States is one of the signatories of the Cairo Declaration, and also one of the victorious nations of World War II. Washington decided to restore Japan's territory to include those lands which it possessed prior to 1895.

Moreover, Japan should be encouraged to return to international community after becoming a country that poses no threat to world peace. The U.S. Government should heed its original stance if it wishes to protect peace and stability in East Asia.

Upholding the Cairo Declaration is of special significance to China. This document reaffirms that Taiwan and its affiliated islands including the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, serving as a historic evidence and a legal basis for China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.

History should never be forgotten. China asks Japan to face up to history and honor its political commitment to international society. At the same time, it hopes the United States, Britain and all countries that participated in drawing the blueprint of international order after World War II responsibly stand their ground. The guidelines and principles created to deal with Japan following World War II should continue to stand as lawful documents to which the international community abides. Considering the cyclical nature of history, all nations must try to avoid repeating the mistakes that led to previous conflicts and tragedies.

Due to the Japanese Government's denial of history, the China-Japan relationship stands at a difficult juncture. The political stalemate has rippled into economic, cultural and educational areas. Statistics show that bilateral trade slid 7.8 percent during January to September from the same period of 2012. Meanwhile, exchange activities had decreased 24.6 percent. Preventing bilateral relations from deteriorating has become an urgent task. China awaits Japan's return to the negotiating table and adjusting bilateral relations to the right track.

In 1995, then Japanese Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi made an apology to the victims of Japan's aggression, affirming that Japan would reflect on its history and adhere to a path of peace. If today's Japanese rulers cannot address history correctly, the country will never be forgiven by war victims and their relatives. Ultimately, Japan will pay a high political cost.

The author is deputy director of the Institute of Japanese Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Email us at: liuyunyun@bjreview.com

Cairo Declaration and Related Documents

On December 1, 1943, after an intensive week-long meeting in the Egyptian capital, then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965), and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) jointly vowed to continue their military actions against Japan to "restrain and punish it" until its "unconditional surrender."

The statement was published simultaneously in Washington, D.C., London and China's wartime capital Chongqing on the day it was issued.

Delivered at a crucial juncture and against the backdrop of the irreversible retreat of the axis of the German and Italian forces on battlefields across the world earlier in 1943, the Cairo Declaration set the tone for an imminent victory in World War II, as well as the goals for the post-war world order.

On July 26, 1945, the Potsdam Declaration, issued by the United States, Britain and China, reaffirmed that the terms of the Cairo Declaration would be carried out.

By signing the Instrument of Surrender a month later, Japan specifically accepted the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, which incorporated the terms of the Cairo Declaration.

"We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the (Potsdam) declaration ... and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers," as stipulated by the Instrument of Surrender. n

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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